Published on: 10 March 2023

A dad who had a lifesaving kidney transplant thanks to his donor wife has given back to the unit which helped treat him by hosting his own festival of music and laughter.

Tariq Ahmed, 54, from Sunderland, wanted to mark the 10 year anniversary of his transplant by staging a huge party.

With the idea put on hold for two years because of the pandemic, Tazfest finally went ahead in October, with the funds raised now being put to use by the Renal Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Before his wife Tracy, 55, was found to be a close enough match to donate one of her kidneys, Tariq would undergo dialysis at home with the support of the team.

Tariq Ahmed pictured while he was undergoing treatment before his kidney donation and after his transplant, when he met Gary Numan..jpg

Tariq Ahmed pictured while he was undergoing treatment before his kidney donation and after his transplant, when he met Gary Numan.

The retail sales advisor for Spar, and Tracy, who works in finance for the NHS, underwent their transplant procedure through the Institute of Transplantation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

They remain in close contact with the team at the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust unit and undergo a yearly check thanks to its staff.

The couple, who are parents to two grown up sons, presented £2,755 to the team just before Christmas.

Many of the department’s staff were among the 100-plus guests to enjoy the Tazfest event.

Hosted at the Wearside Masonic Temple in Burdon Road in Sunderland, it featured father and son band Nutopians, with partygoers invited to sponsor a song on their set.

The Nutopians performing at Tazfest..JPG

The Nutopians performing at Tazfest.

It also included a quiz including several questions based on health, an auction and raffle, while a friend’s business made the cause its charity of the month, adding to the cash raised from the night.

Tariq and Tracy’s nieces, Laura and Beth Carr, also got everyone dancing with a performance from Swan Lake.

Tariq said:

"The Renal Department have looked after us since 2008 so we wanted to give something back to them.

"I always said I wanted to do something to mark my transplant and people came from all over the country to take part, it was an excellent night."

He added their thanks to friends and family who have supported them since his initial diagnosis.

Dr Sid Ahmed, Clinical Director of Medical Specialities, oversees the Renal Unit.

He said:

"We are overjoyed with the donation by Tariq and Tracy, it is incredibly kind of them to think of us as they hosted this event. Many of our patients forge strong links with us because they come to us so frequently for treatment, it’s not always an easy path, but we are there with them on that journey.

"This money will be a great help and we plan to use it to fund tablet screens, which patients will be able to use to access information which will help educate them about their condition and keep well, as well as watch videos while they undergo their treatment."

Andrea Hetherington, the Trust’s Director of Corporate Affairs, is in charge of the STS Charity, which funds extras for patients and staff, and handled the donation.

She said:

"This donation is a generous gift to us by Tariq and Tracy and their friends and family. It is funds such as these which help make a patient’s experience a better one when they come to us for care.

"We are glad Tariq finally got to host the night he planned for so long and that so many people had such a good time raising this fantastic amount."

Tariq and Tracy added their gratitude to all those who helped make the night possible, with special thanks to Andrew Pace and Andrew Clark for their support, as well as Renal Administrators Hayley Dixon and Pam Taylor. More details about the STS Charity can be found via

The Trust has shared a podcast about organ donation featuring Dr Ahmed, which can be listened to with captions via YouTube.

Click here to listen.